Sunday, 14 October 2012

Realistic Expectations

It is only normal and natural for us human beings to expect certain results, actions or events to happen. The conviction that your favorite team is going to win the match or tournament, a child that expects to be bestowed with presents or gifts, an entrepreneur expecting his /her business to be successful; are just but a few examples of expectations that we make in our lives . Expectations have got the ability to evoke powerful emotions whether they are met or not.

If we surpass or meet our expectations, there is high likelihood of being very happy, overjoyed or any other positive emotion. These positive emotions give us a huge boost of confidence in the undertaking of our endeavors; this increases the chances of success in whatever we are doing.

However if we do not meet our expectation, there is high likelihood of being disappointed, depressed or any other negative emotions. Being unable to meet our expectations is more likely going to be demoralizing and in turn have detrimental effect on our self confidence and ability to be successful in our endeavors

Being able to form realistic expectations is of paramount importance, because failure to do so might have detrimental effects on your self confidence. When setting expectations one should have enough information and experience in order determine a much more realistic expectation. I am of the opinion that when you are starting a business or doing something new that you have no or limited experience, it would be wise to set your expectations low and just give it your best shot and see what happens next.

Also even though you might be experienced being conservative with your expectations might be something helpful in preparing for an unpleasant outcome. The fact of life is things do no always go as planned or the usual way; taking that into account will make our expectations much more realistic. While many maybe against setting your expectations low because of the argument that it tends to make you less ambitious, I still think if one develop a habit of giving their best effort and acknowledging that possibilities are endless; they will still be able to ambitious and increase their chances of success.

One more thing that I have since realized is that as much as the chances of success maybe sometimes very high, you might end failing in an unexpected and spectacular fashion that will leave you baffled. Preparing yourself for that remote chance of failure might be a good idea and realistic way of forming expectations.

Setting yourself  very high expectations is one thing that I feel strongly against because sometimes it tends to cloud or blur your achievements; you might feel you have not done well but whilst you might have done incredibly very good. When I received my Advanced Level results back then in 2004 I was disappointed and depressed for a very long time. I had gotten a B in Mathematic, B in Economics and another B in Management of Business. The truth of the matter was these results were very good by any standard to get myself into any university anywhere in the world. I was so disappointed because I want ed 3 straight As which I still have no doubt that I was capable of doing and of which I got so close. I had failed to take into account that things might not go my way probably maybe because of things like my very bad writing which I had been warned of, errors or just bad luck.

Instead of taking  advantage of the good result that I had got, I spend a lot of  time feeling depressed and disappointed  whilst others who had similar results than me were busy applying for scholarships to study abroad of which some were successful in doing so. Even when I started my degree I was less pessimistic of high level of success so I ended putting less effort in my studies.


The emotions that expectations evoke are very powerful and may have insidious effects on our confidence and emotional health which are one of the important things in the startup journey or any endeavor. Forming realistic expectations is something we should learn to do to avoid falling into a trap we would have created. All the suggestions that I have made is what I have come up to conclusion through experience and careful consideration of my life and those around me but I would be willing to hear your thoughts and learn more about how to deal with expectations.

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